What If My Spousal Sponsorship Is Refused?


After obtaining permanent residence in Canada, it is very common for one to then try to bring their spouse to live there too. There are a handful of factors, however, that may cause someone to be refused spousal sponsorship.

Reasons Why Spousal Sponsorship Is Refused

Ineligible to Sponsor

It is important to note that simply being a permanent residence of Canada or Canadian citizen does not make you eligible to sponsor your family member. You must fulfill the minimum requirements to become a sponsor. You should be an adult residing or intending to reside in Canada post completion of the sponsorship process.

If you are sponsoring anyone other than your spouse/partner or dependent children, you also have to meet minimum income requirements for the three taxation years preceding the sponsorship applic ation.

Other eligibility requirements include that the sponsor should not have defaulted on repayment of loans, bonds, or family support payments. The sponsor must also have a clean criminal record, should not have failed to provide for basic needs of a sponsored family member in the past, and should not be receiving social assistance.

Ineligible to Be Sponsored

The family member being sponsored must fulfill the basic eligibility requirements applicable to all permanent residence applicants. This is to ensure ineligible individuals don’t bypass mandatory requirements and obtain permanent residence in Canada through family sponsorship.

Only certain types of relatives are eligible for Canadian family sponsorship. One of the most frequent questions asked is “Can I sponsor my fiance(e)?” The simple answer is no. Engagement is not sufficient to be eligible for family sponsorship. However, you may meet the definition of common-law or conjugal partner with your fiance(e). If you don’t, you’ll have to wait to apply for sponsorship until after you are officially married.

One who is a security risk, guilty of human right violations, does not have a clean criminal record, or has significant health problems might not be eligible to be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This restriction applies even to individuals who are otherwise eligible to sponsor except for the fact that their family member(s) don’t fulfill the eligibility requirements for sponsorship.

Permanent Resident Living Outside Canada

Sponsorship is not permitted when the sponsor is residing outside Canada. While Canadian citizens can initiate the sponsorship process even when residing outside Canada, a permanent resident’s application for sponsorship will be denied for this reason. The sponsorship application by the citizen will be allowed only if he/she proves intent to reside in Canada one the sponsored family member receives permanent residence.

Undeclared Family Members

An individual applying for permanent residence is required to declare all his or her family members in the permanent residence application. This includes family members that the applicant does not intend to sponsor. Failure to declare the family member will render him or her ineligible for permanent residence through sponsorship if the applicant wants to sponsor them in the future. Along with denial of the sponsorship application, this omission can impact the sponsor’s status as a permanent resident as well.

Wrong Information in the Application Form

All parties involved in the sponsorship application—sponsor as well as sponsored family members—are required by law to provide accurate information in the application. Any misrepresentation, accidental or deliberate, shall result in the application being denied.

Since the process requires comprehensive submissions related to personal details, nature of relationship, financial condition, health and medical tests, character certificate and other details, you must take due care to ensure the information submitted to the immigration authorities is true, accurate, and backed by necessary documentary evidence to minimize risk of denial of the application.

Marriage of Convenience

While permanent residents and citizens are permitted to sponsor their foreign spouse or partner, such an application will be carefully vetted to prevent instances of marriage fraud. The application form requires detailed information about the sponsor’s relationship with his or her spouse or partner including details of commencement of the relationship, description of the solemnization of marriage and other aspects designed to assess the true nature of the relationship.


Seeking the Proper Help After Your Spousal Sponsorship Is Refused

It’s very important to get legal representation to help you with these
cases and you have to act fast if you get a refusal letter. You have to
file a notice of appeal on time; otherwise your appeal rights could be

Do You Need Help with Spousal Sponsorship?

So, if you have a spousal sponsorship that was refused, if you’ve filed an
application that was refused, you can contact us. You can go to our website
at www.VisaPlace.com. We can take a look at your case and see if we can
help you. Again, it’s very important to act fast if you have a refusal.
Thank you, and I hope this information helped you and gave you hope in case
you’re one of those unfortunate people. Thank you and have a great day.

Contact our experienced team today, and let us help you with your spousal sponsorship.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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